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Sat 16 Sep 2017, 4:00pm–6:00pm

Where: Whakatāne Library and Exhibition Centre, 49 Kakahoroa Dr, Whakatane, Bay of Plenty

Restrictions: All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Admission: Free

Glyn Harper, Professor of War Studies at Massey University, will explore the battle of Passchendaele during a special presentation at the opening of Commemorating Passchendaele – Home Front to Front Line by artist Robyn Hughes.

If you would like to attend this opening event and special presentation, please email or call 07 306 0505.

‘It is much more than a military history, rather an invocation which summons from out of the depths of the past the catastrophic year 1917 — the progenitor of the age in which we live.’ — Major General J.F.C. Fuller’s Introduction to In Flanders Fields by Leon Wolff

There is little doubt that 1917 was the worst year of the war for the allies. In 1917, the Germans achieved victory on the Eastern Front while the allies floundered in all their main theatres of war. At the end of 1917, in the words of military analyst and historian J.F.C. Fuller:

'The British were bled white, the French were morally exhausted, the Italians nearly out of the war, and the Americans not yet sufficiently involved to make good a fraction of the enormous losses sustained.'1

This presentation will outline what happened on the battlefields of 1917 and why their military plans went awry for the allies. Harper will focus primarily on the fortunes of the New Zealand Division, which was involved in some of the critical military actions of 1917.

The Australian historians Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson have written that the outcome of the military events of 1917 ‘brought dire consequences’ for the allies.2 During this presentation, Harper will analyse what these dire consequences were and suggest that the experience of 1917 left an enduring legacy for New Zealand.

1 J.F.C. Fuller, The Decisive Battles of the Western World 1792-1944, p.361.
2 Robin Prior & Trevor Wilson, Passchendaele the untold story, p.200.

For more information about this event and Glyn Harper, please see

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